Chapter 1: An overview of Ontario’s Publicly Funded Education System

In Ontario, children and youth between the ages of 6 and 18 must be enrolled in a formal education program. The province’s Education Act and the regulations made under it establish the framework for the delivery of education programs. The Act outlines the responsibilities of key partners in the education process, from the provincial government, to school boards, to teachers in classrooms. (See Note 1) This chapter offers an overview of the roles of the key partners. (Throughout this document, relevant sections of the Education Act are referenced in square brackets.)

Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education provides leadership and sets the direction for education policy by:

  • setting provincial standards for student outcomes;
  • promoting a safe, equitable, inclusive and respectful environment that supports learning;
  • developing and sustaining a rigorous and challenging province-wide curriculum;
  • promoting accountability throughout the publicly funded education system;
  • promoting and supporting excellence in teaching; and
  • providing school boards with resources, including financial resources, and support for program implementation.

In addition, the ministry sets requirements for student diplomas and certificates, and makes regulations that govern the school year, the organization of schools and school boards, and the duties of teachers, principals, and school board officials. The Ministry of Education is also responsible for the administration of provincial and demonstration schools for deaf, blind, deafblind students and/or for students who have severe learning disabilities.

District School Boards

The Education Act provides for the establishment of the following four types of district school boards:

  • English public
  • English Catholic
  • French public
  • French Catholic

Although the Act refers to the non-Catholic English and French systems as ‘public’, all four systems are publicly funded.

A small number of schools are governed by “school authorities”. They manage schools offered through hospitals and treatment facilities, as well as schools in remote and sparsely populated regions.

The table below shows the number of district school boards and school authorities in the province, and the number of students in each category.

Ontario’s School Boards - 2013-14 (Projected)

  Number of Boards Number of Students
English public boards 31 1,232,185
French public boards 4 24,438
English Catholic boards 29 522,715
French Catholic boards 8 66,218
School authorities / Hospital boards 10 1,090

Source: Ministry of Education, 2013-2014 Revised Estimates for school boards and 2013-2014 Estimates for school authorities and hospital boards. Enrolment data represents pupils of the board Average Daily Enrolment (ADE).

Public School Boards

A strong public education system that prepares students to become productive and contributing citizens is the foundation of a civil society. Ontario’s English and French public district school boards provide universally accessible education for all students, regardless of their ethnic, racial, or cultural backgrounds; social or economic status; gender; individual exceptionality; or religious preference.

The English and French public systems are founded on the principle of equality of educational opportunity: every student deserves an opportunity to achieve to his or her fullest potential. Public school boards provide high standards in their programs and ensure that there are supports and resources to help all students reach those standards. Public school boards also focus on character education to ensure that students develop as caring and responsible members of their community and of Canadian society as a whole. Character education embraces values such as Citizenship, Cooperation, Courage, Empathy, Fairness, Honesty, Humility, Inclusiveness, Initiative, Integrity, Kindness, Optimism, Perseverance, Resilience, Respect, and Responsibility. The English and French public district school boards, in partnership with parents and caregivers, prepare students for success in whatever field they choose.

Catholic School Boards

English Catholic and French Catholic district school boards have the same obligations, duties, rights, and privileges under the Education Act as do the public district school boards. In addition, however, Catholic boards strive to create a faith community where religious instruction, religious practice, value formation, and faith development are integral to every area of the curriculum.

Catholic schools exist to offer a system of education chosen by Catholic parents.

In a Catholic education system, the school, the home, and the Church work together to develop within students a way of living that embodies the life of Jesus Christ. Catholic education fosters cognitive development and teaches skills and knowledge. In addition, it is concerned with the formation of the whole person of the student through the personal integration of faith and life. Roman Catholic schools seek to provide a learning experience that allows students to develop their particular skills and individual talents, and to realize their uniqueness as children of God, and as brothers and sisters to every man and woman in the world.

Catholic district school boards provide Catholic education by:

  • ensuring support and guidance to develop each school as a Catholic Christian community in all its academic and non-academic activities;
  • providing teachers, principals, vice-principals, supervisory officers, and other personnel who are committed to building the school system as a Catholic Christian community; and
  • preparing, upgrading, and putting to use academic curricula, including formal religious instruction, in which Catholic faith and life are integrated.
Language of Instruction

Parents with rights under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are guaranteed a French-language education for their children. (See Appendix E, Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Section 23: Minority Language Educational Rights.) The province offers French-language education through both French public and French Catholic district school boards. Parents who do not have rights under Section 23 but who want to have their child or children educated in French may apply to an admissions committee of a French-language school.

French-language district school boards may only operate schools/classes in which French is the language of instruction [s. 288]. However, they may offer English as a course of instruction at any level, and must offer English as a course of instruction in Grades 5 through 8 [s. 292; s. 293].

Correspondingly, English-language district school boards may not operate schools/classes in which French is the language of instruction [s. 289]. However, they may, with ministry permission, offer programs “involving varying degrees of the use of the French language in instruction” [s. 8(1)25]. It is important to note that the ministry’s curriculum includes various components for French-as-a-second-language instruction for use by English-language district school boards starting in Grade 4. Many school boards offer French Immersion programs as an option for students starting as early as Senior Kindergarten.

Isolate boards (school authorities) have a duty to provide service with respect to majority and minority language rights in accordance with the Education Act. While they generally conduct classes where English is the language of instruction, there remains a duty to provide or purchase service, if required, to deliver instruction in French, in order to fulfil their responsibilities to students with rights under Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

It is important to note that other languages may be provided in both French- and English-language schools.

Policies Specific to French-Language Schools and School Boards

The majority of francophone students in Ontario live in settings in which French is a minority language. This creates particular challenges for French-language education. In 2004, the government of Ontario established a policy on aménagement linguistique, or language-planning. This policy supports the province’s French-language educational institutions in optimizing the transmission of French language and culture among young people; the goal is to help students reach their full potential in school and in society and thereby invigorate and sustain francophone communities. The policy is the cornerstone of all French-language education activities at the elementary and secondary levels; it provides a framework within which all institutions that provide French-language education must follow common guidelines to ensure the protection, enhancement, and transmission of the French language and culture in a minority setting. It is firmly linked to the mandate of French-language schools and exists to help those boards better fulfil their mission.

The objectives of Ontario’s aménagement linguistique policy are to:

  • deliver high-quality instruction in French-language schools adapted to the minority setting;
  • educate young francophones to become competent and responsible citizens, empowered by their linguistic and cultural identity;
  • increase the capacity of learning communities, including school staff, students, and parents, to support the linguistic, education, and cultural development of students throughout their lives;
  • expand and enrich the francophone environment through solid partnerships among the school, the family, and the community as a whole; and
  • increase the vitality of education institutions by focusing on student retention and increased enrolment, thus contributing to the sustainable development of the French-language community in Ontario.

The complete policy document and an overview are available on the Ministry of Education website at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/amenagement/mandate.html

Over the past thirty years, the ethno linguistic profile of the French-speaking community in Ontario has undergone a major transformation. For this reason, and in order to ensure that admission to French-language schools is inclusive and that the process is transparent, the Ministry issued guidelines in April 2009 requiring French-language school boards to review their local admission policies, guidelines, and administrative directives to streamline the admission process for three groups whose parents are not French-language education rights holders: French-speaking immigrants; children whose grandparents were holders of French-language education rights; and immigrant children whose parents’ mother tongue is neither French nor English. Boards’ revised local admission policies came into effect on January 15, 2010.

At the same time, the Ministry issued a Policy Statement and Guidelines on the Admission, Welcoming and Support of Students in French-Language Schools in Ontario. School boards were asked to develop local protocols for welcoming students and parents, for implementation in September 2010. (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/policy/Admission.pdf)

The Ministry of Education has committed to consulting with French-language education partners on project proposals that may have implications for the governance of French-language education under the Education Act. The Ministry published Consultation Policy on Governance of French-Language Education in July 2011 which describes a consultation process to identify facts and issues relevant to matters of governance of French-language education. The document is available at: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/amenagement/mandate.html

School Board Trustees

The role of the school board trustee is discussed in detail in Chapter 4 of this Guide. All district school boards and most school authorities are governed by locally elected trustees. The exceptions are the six school authorities located in hospitals, which have appointed rather than elected trustees. Trustees play a key leadership role in ensuring that schools operate within the standards established by the province, and that programs and services remain responsive to the communities they serve.

School Board Responsibilities

School boards are responsible for student achievement and well-being, for ensuring effective stewardship of the board’s resources and for delivering effective and appropriate education programs for their students. The Education Act and its regulations set out the services that district school boards and school authorities must offer. The responsibilities of a school board include a key governance role with respect to:

  • operating schools according to provincial legislation;
  • having a vision statement that reflects the board’s philosophy and local needs and priorities;
  • the development of a multi-year strategic plan;
  • setting the board’s budget within the provincial grants and accompanying regulations;
  • making provision for resources and for the hiring of teachers, other staff;
  • accountability to the public for implementing curriculum according to ministry curriculum policy;
  • developing and delivering other programs that reflect provincial policies and local priorities;
  • providing for the hiring of teachers and other staff required in their schools;
  • providing for the maintenance of school buildings and property with regard to student safety and in accordance with provincial legislation;
  • monitoring the policies of the schools and the achievement of students and, through the director of education, holding the entire system accountable for meeting provincial and board standards;
  • hiring and performance appraisal of the director of education.
Directors of Education

The director of education is the chief executive officer and chief education officer (CEO) of the school board. The director is the sole employee who reports directly to the board and acts as secretary to the board. Through the director of education, a school board holds all of its schools accountable for improving student achievement and well-being, providing an equitable and inclusive environment and enhancing public confidence in publicly funded education, based on expectations set at the provincial and board levels. Directors are responsible for:

  • advising the board on operational matters;
  • implementing board policies;
  • managing all facets of school board operations;
  • ensuring that the board’s multi-year plan establishes the board’s priorities and identifies the resources that will be used to achieve them;
  • implementing, and monitoring the implementation of the multi-year plan;
  • reporting regularly to the board on the implementation of the plan, as well as reviewing it annually with the board;
  • bringing to the board’s attention any act or omission by the board that could violate or has violated the Education Act or any of its policies, guidelines or regulations. If the board does not respond in a satisfactory manner, the director is required to report the act or omission to the Deputy Minister of Education.

All school board staff report either directly or indirectly to the director of education. The director of education reports to the board, usually through the chair or his or her delegate. As well, the director serves as the secretary of the board. (See Chapter 7, Meeting Procedures.)

Every district school board must hire a qualified supervisory officer as its director of education [s. 283(1)] and obtain the Minister’s confirmation that the person to be appointed is eligible for the position. [s. 285(2)]. Subject to the Minister’s approval, two or more school authorities or school boards may jointly share a director of education [s. 280]. School authorities may also, with the Minister’s approval, obtain the services of a supervisory officer through an agreement with another board or with the ministry itself. Under special circumstances a supervisory officer (either a director or superintendent) may be appointed by the Minister of Education. In that case, the supervisory officer is responsible to the Minister.

The Act distinguishes between a board’s responsibility for policy development and the responsibility of the director for operationalizing that policy. It is important that the board of trustees be clear about roles and responsibilities and determine, through policy, which matters are operational and therefore addressed by the director, and which matters are policy and, therefore, decided on by the board.

All directors of education belong to the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE). All 12 French-language directors of education also belong to the Conseil ontarien des directions d’éducation de langue française (CODELF). English Catholic Directors of Education may belong to the Council of Directors of Education (ECCODE) and French Catholic directors of education may belong to the Conseil ontarien des directions d’éducation catholique de langue française (CODEC).

Supervisory Officers

Supervisory officers, often called superintendents, are accountable to the director of education for the implementation, operation, and supervision of educational programs in their schools and must hold both supervisory officer and teacher qualifications. Supervisory officers accountable for the business functions of the organization are required to hold supervisory officer qualifications but do not need to have teacher qualifications. See Regulation 309 (Supervisory Officers) of the Education Act for more information. Prior to appointing a supervisory officer, a board must obtain the Minister’s confirmation that the person to be appointed is eligible for the position. [s. 285(2)].

Superintendents who lead and supervise schools and programs focus their efforts on improving student achievement and well-being and strengthening accountability. As leaders they work with principals and staff to ensure that schools have a School Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (SIPSA). This plan is based on student learning needs and aligns with the school board’s multi-year strategic plan (MYSP), the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) as well as board and ministry priorities. Superintendents are also accountable for implementing board and ministry policy as well as performance appraisals. They are responsible for ensuring that school buildings are maintained according to ministry and board policy. They must also report to the medical officer of health any case in which a school building or school property is found to be in an unsanitary condition [s. 286(1)]. As supervisory officers of the board, superintendents hold the schools accountable for student achievement.

Reports to the board related to the responsibilities of the superintendent are provided through the director of education. [ss 286(1)]

Supervisory officers belong to one or more of the following professional organizations, depending on the system they serve:

  • the Ontario Association of School Business Officials (OASBO)
  • the Council of School Business Officials (COSBO)
  • the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA)
  • the Ontario Catholic School Business Officials (OCSBO)
  • the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association (OCSOA)
  • the Association des gestionnaires de l’éducation franco-ontarienne (AGEFO)

The Ontario Leadership Strategy

There is a growing body of knowledge and research that demonstrates a strong relationship between effective school and district level leadership and improved student outcomes. In 2008, the Ministry of Education launched the Ontario Leadership Strategy (OLS) to support student achievement and well-being by taking a coordinated and strategic approach to leadership development in Ontario’s school system. The current goals of the OLS are to:

  • Attract the right people to leadership roles
  • Develop personal leadership resources in individuals and promote effective leadership practices to support improved student achievement and well-being
  • Develop leadership capacity and coherence in organizations to strengthen their ability to deliver on education priorities.

Current ministry initiatives include the Board Leadership Development Strategy (BLDS) which provides funding and resources to boards for leadership and succession planning strategies that meet their unique needs. Most boards offer programs for aspiring leaders, mentoring for newly appointed leaders, as well as programs for aspiring leaders in their BLDS. More information can be found at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/policyfunding/leadership/BLDSQuickFacts.pdf.

The OLS is supported by an Ontario research framework founded on empirical evidence about successful leadership practices across many different contexts but especially schools and districts. Known as the Ontario Leadership Framework (OLF), it describes the leadership practices and personal leadership resources that support creating the conditions in which student achievement can thrive. The framework describes what leadership looks like in schools and boards and offers a common language through which leadership can be discussed. The Ministry and most school boards are now using the framework as a foundation for their leadership development efforts.

A component of the OLF is the District Effectiveness Framework (DEF). It identifies the characteristics of high-performing school systems and will support trustees in their roles as policy makers particularly in the areas of recruitment, selection and programs. The following resources provide more information on the Ontario Leadership Framework and the DEF:

Schools

In general, elementary schools provide programs for children in Full-Day Kindergarten to Grade 8, and secondary schools serve students enrolled in Grades 9 through 12. (See Note 2)

Schools achieve excellence in education by:

  • promoting high standards of individual achievement;
  • promoting 21st century skills that include collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creativity and effective use of learning technologies;
  • providing the understanding and basic skills required for active, compassionate participation in the life of the family, the community, the province, the nation, and a global society;
  • cultivating a love of learning;
  • recognizing the value of diversity among learners and communities;
  • creating a safe, inclusive, welcoming and positive school climate free of discrimination and harassment;
  • seeking and welcoming parental involvement in school activities; and
  • exploring creative approaches to education.

All boards must provide or purchase special education programs for exceptional students within their jurisdictions. School boards are required to make full-day kindergarten programs available for four- and five-year olds. This full-time program initiative was introduced in September 2010 with full implementation across the province in September 2014. Where there is sufficient demand, school boards are also required to offer fee-based before and after school programs for four-and five-year olds, operated directly by the school board or delivered by a licensed child care operator. (For more detailed information see Chapter 9.)

Subject to provincial direction on matters such as class size and instructional time, school boards and schools can set policies for organizing schools and grouping students. For example, boards may operate classes for individuals who have developmental disabilities, and they may hold classes in care, treatment, and correctional facilities. Attendance at these specialized schools is declining as more students move into the increasingly inclusive environment of classrooms in the boards’ schools.

Principals

Principals are the educational leaders within their school communities. They are responsible for student achievement and well-being and for providing a safe and accepting learning environment for students. They ensure that the programs that are in place are effective and align with board and ministry policies. They are responsible for supervising teachers and programs within their schools, and for ensuring that student evaluation and assessment is performed according to ministry and board guidelines and policies. Principals ensure that parents and guardians receive appropriate information about the learning of their own children and students as well as the overall performance of the school. They work collaboratively with their staff, parents, and the community to develop and implement school improvement plans that reflect school and board priorities and set strategies to improve student results. In consultation with their school council, and in alignment with board policy, principals are responsible for establishing the vision and direction for their school.

Principals and vice-principals may belong to one or more of the following professional organizations:

  • the Ontario Principals’ Council (OPC)
  • the Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario (CPCO)
  • the Association des directions et des directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennes (ADFO)

In addition to any teaching duties the principal may have, he or she is responsible for the daily operation of the school, including the care of students and the supervision of staff. Some of the principal’s obligations under the Education Act are:

  • developing implementation plans for new education initiatives that relate to student achievement or to accountability of the education system to parents;
  • undertaking teacher performance appraisals as required by Ontario Reg. 99/02 (Teacher Performance Appraisal);
  • maintaining proper discipline in the school and attending to the care of students and property;
  • registering students, and ensuring that attendance is recorded, examinations are held, and students’ progress is reported on;
  • preparing a school timetable, assigning classes and subjects to teachers, and encouraging cooperation among staff members;
  • ensuring that students use textbooks approved by the board or , in the case of subject areas for which the Minister approves textbooks, approved by the Minister;
  • reporting on any aspect of school business required by the board and providing information to the ministry and the appropriate supervisory officer about discipline, student achievement, and the condition of school premises;
  • reporting promptly to the board and medical officer of health if he or she suspects a communicable disease in the school or detects an unsanitary condition in the school building or on school property; and
  • refusing access to anyone who, in the principal’s judgement, might threaten the physical or mental well-being of students.

Regulation 298 (Operation of Schools – General) lists additional principal’s duties. These include making recommendations to the board, through the director of education, about teacher appointments, promotions, demotions, or dismissals, and promoting close cooperation with parents, industry, business, and other community groups.

The principal also has a key role to play in ensuring that school councils operate effectively. The principal attends and acts as a resource at school council meetings and reports on actions taken as a result of the council’s recommendations.

Ontario Regulation 234 (Principal and Vice-Principal Performance Appraisal) requires that principals/vice-principals have an annual growth plan and be appraised once every five years. During their appraisal year, principals/vice-principals are required to set performance goals that support student achievement and well-being based on their school and board improvement plans and provincial educational priorities. The annual growth plan outlines professional learning activities and supports. The Principal/Vice-principal Performance Appraisal Technical Requirements Manual outlines the requirements of the appraisal process. The Education Act and Regulation 234/10 define the timelines, processes and steps to be followed. Principal/Vice-Principal Performance Appraisal (PPA) is a component of the Ontario Leadership Strategy (OLS). At the board level it is part of the Board Leadership Development Strategy (BLDS).

Teachers

Teachers who are members of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) or who have a special letter of permission from the ministry may teach in publicly funded elementary or secondary schools. (See “Ontario College of Teachers” later in this chapter.)

Teachers may belong to the Ontario Teachers’ Federation (OTF) through one or more of the following affiliates:

  • the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA)
  • the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
  • Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO)
  • the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)

Teachers are the front-line representatives of the education system. Their many activities go beyond instruction and include encouraging students to pursue learning, maintaining classroom discipline, and evaluating students’ learning and progress.

The Education Act [s. 264(1)] and Regulation 298 (Operation of Schools – General) set out the following teacher duties and expectations:

  • teach classes or subjects assigned by the principal
  • instruct, train, and evaluate pupils effectively
  • manage the classroom effectively
  • carry out the supervisory duties and instructional program assigned by the principal
  • cooperate fully with other teachers and the principal in all matters related to the instruction of pupils
  • use only textbooks approved by the ministry and the board
  • be available and prepared before the start of classes
  • prepare teaching plans and outlines
  • ensure that all reasonable safety procedures are carried out in courses and activities
  • cooperate with the principal and other teachers to establish and maintain consistent disciplinary practices in the school
  • ensure that report cards are fully and properly completed and processed
  • cooperate and assist in the administration of tests under the Education Quality and Accountability Office Act, 1996
  • participate in regular meetings with pupils’ parents or guardians
  • assist the principal in maintaining close cooperation with the community
  • perform duties as assigned by the principal in relation to cooperative placements of pupils
  • perform duties normally associated with the graduation of pupils
  • participate in professional activity days as designated by the board, and
  • give notice of absence

Many teachers choose to participate in supervising co-instructional activities at the school. These activities occur outside the regular instruction program and are designed to enrich students’ school-related experience and support educational goals. Examples include sports, arts and cultural activities.

New Teacher Induction Program

The New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) supports the growth and professional learning of new teachers.

It is the second job-embedded step in a continuum of professional learning for teachers to support effective teaching, learning and assessment practices, building on and complementing the initial teacher education programs.

NTIP consists of the following elements:

  • Orientation for all new teachers to the school and school board
  • Professional development appropriate to the individual needs of new teachers, and
  • Mentoring for new teachers by experienced teachers

The NTIP builds on the faculty experience gained in the Initial Teacher Education Program by providing another full year of professional support. The intent is that new teachers will have the requisite skills and knowledge to achieve success as experienced teachers by the end of their first year of teaching.

All publicly funded schools are required to offer the NTIP, and teachers new to Ontario’s publicly funded schools are required to participate. New teachers are considered to have completed the program when they have two successful teacher performance appraisals. All teachers who successfully complete the NTIP will receive a notation on their Certificate of Qualification and on the Public Register of the Ontario College of Teachers.

Boards play an important role in the NTIP. They are responsible for overseeing the quality of the program in the schools, fiscally managing it, and reporting the results of the program to the ministry.

For more information about NTIP visit: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teacher/induction.html

Teacher Performance Appraisal

Ontario has province-wide teacher performance appraisal standards. Principals must conduct regular performance appraisals of their teaching staff in accordance with these standards. The Ministry of Education provides teacher performance appraisal manuals, approved forms, and guidelines to support implementation of the appraisal processes for teachers. Section 277 of the Education Act, Ontario Regulation 99/02 (Teacher Performance Appraisal), and the ministry’s guidelines define the timelines and steps to be followed in appraisals, as well as areas to be covered by the parent survey and student survey components of the appraisal.

For more information about Teacher Performance Appraisal visit: http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teacher/appraise.html

School Councils and Parent Involvement Committees

The Education Act requires each school board to establish a school council for each school operated by the board [ss. 170(1)17.1]. School councils are advisory bodies whose purpose is to improve student achievement and enhance the accountability of the education system to parents.

School boards must also establish a Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) [O.Reg 612/00 (School Councils and Parent Involvement Committees)]. The role of a PIC is to support improved student achievement and well-being through encouraging and enhancing parent involvement at the board level.

For more detailed information about school councils and parental involvement in education, see Chapter 11, Working with School Councils, Parent Involvement Committees, and Communities.

Ontario College of Teachers

The Ontario College of Teachers was established in 1997 to allow teachers to regulate and govern their own profession in the public interest. Teachers who want to work in publicly funded schools in Ontario must be certified to teach in the province and be members of the College.

The College:

  • ensures Ontario students are taught by skilled teachers who adhere to clear standards of practice and conduct;
  • establishes standards of practice and conduct;
  • issues teaching certificates and may suspend or revoke them; and
  • accredits teacher education programs and courses.

In order to be certified by the College as a teacher of academic subjects in Ontario, prospective teachers must have an approved postsecondary degree, complete the Initial Teacher Education Program through an accredited faculty of education, submit to a criminal background reference check, and provide evidence of effective communication in one of Ontario’s official languages of instruction.

For more information, visit the Ontario College of Teachers website at http://www.oct.ca/.

Early Childhood Educators

Only registered members of the College of Early Childhood Educators (CECE) or those who have a special letter of permission from the ministry may be designated as the Early Childhood Educator (ECE) in full day kindergarten classrooms, and, where boards are the operator, in before and after school programs for four- and five-year olds.

Early childhood educators have knowledge about early childhood development, observation and assessment. They bring a focus on age-appropriate program planning that promotes each child’s physical, cognitive, language, emotional, social and creative development and well-being.

College of Early Childhood Educators

The College of Early Childhood Educators was established in 2007 and regulates and governs Ontario’s early childhood educators to protect the public interest. It is the first professional self-regulatory college for early childhood educators in Canada. The College:

  • promotes and provides leadership for the profession of early childhood educators
  • develops and maintains professional standards and establishes requirements for professional development
  • investigates complaints from the public about the conduct, competency and fitness to practise of members and, if necessary, disciplines members.

Early childhood educators who want to work in publicly funded kindergarten classrooms in Ontario must be members of the college.

More information can be found at the College of Early Childhood Educators website at: http://www.college-ece.ca/